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Amid Bachmann controversy, many Christians cool to conversion therapy for gays
Presidential candidate Michele Bachmann and her husband Marcus, who says his counseling business uses conversion therapy for clients who request it.
July 18th, 2011
11:25 AM ET

Amid Bachmann controversy, many Christians cool to conversion therapy for gays

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) - When presidential candidate Michele Bachmann’s husband, Marcus, addressed accusations that his Christian counseling business encourages homosexual clients to try to change their sexual orientation, he appeared to play down the role of so-called conversion therapy at his clinics.

"Is it a remedy form that I typically would use?” Bachmann told Minnesota’s Star Tribune newspaper. “It is at the client's discretion.

"We don't have an agenda or a philosophy of trying to change someone," Bachmann said, noting that such therapy was not a focus of his two clinics.

Michele Bachmann officially quits her church

Bachmann’s seeming ambivalence about conversion therapy - sometimes called reparative therapy - after a week’s worth of news stories that raised questions about whether his clinics promote the practice may illustrate a broader trend in the conservative Christian subculture.

While many evangelicals once viewed conversion therapy as key way to deal with homosexuality, many of the religious movement's leaders and organizations have cooled to the practice in recent years, as more science suggests that homosexuality may be innate and as new therapeutic approaches have emerged.

“Evangelicals, in quiet ways, are shifting to this position to where there is just not a lot of support for the change paradigm,” said Warren Throckmorton, an influential voice in the world of Christian counseling, referring to so-called change therapy.

“In the late 1990s, the debate was clearly, ‘Could gays change from being gay?’ and the focus was on orientation, and it was a big part of politics,” said Throckmorton, an associate professor of psychology at Grove City College, an evangelical school in Pennsylvania.

One sign of that shift, Throckmorton says, is the influential evangelical group Focus on the Family’s 2009 decision to stop funding a program teaching that “transformation is possible for those unhappy with same-sex attractions." (Focus, which said the move was due partly to financial pressures, handed the program off to another Christian group.)

The head of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, meanwhile, a leading conservative Christian, has recently chided some evangelicals for characterizing homosexuality as a choice that’s relatively easy to change.

“We have spoken carelessly and unknowledgeably in the past to just say, ‘Just change. Just decide right now your pattern of attraction is not homosexual but heterosexual,’ ” Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President Al Mohler said. "We have to know better.”

“We understand that sexual attraction and a profile of someone’s sexuality is a complex of factors, some of which are certainly not chosen,” he continued. “It’s not just a matter of choice. It’s not something that’s turned on or turned off.”

Exodus International, the national Christian organization that promotes "freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ," has de-emphasized conversion therapy in recent years as more of the counselors in its network have abandoned the practice.

“In the 1980s and '90s, the counseling emphasis was heavier than it was today,” said Alan Chambers, the president of Exodus. “Transformation in Christ is possible, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that we will never be tempted or completely move beyond a certain struggle that we might have.

“But we can live through the filter of our faith and abide by that most, and leave behind all sorts of things that have power of us,” said Chambers, who once identified as gay but who says he no longer does.

Most conservative Christians point to biblical passages that condemn homosexuality and believe the Bible teaches that sex is to be reserved for married men and women.

The American Psychological Association adopted a resolution condemning conversion therapy in 2009, saying that “mental health professionals should avoid telling clients that they can change their sexual orientation through therapy or other treatments.”

But the same resolution also encouraged therapists to consider the religious beliefs of clients who say such beliefs are important to their views of homosexuality.

Some Christian counselors have moved away from reparative therapy and have adopted a therapeutic approach that Throckmorton describes as a “congruence paradigm.” The model encourages counselors to appreciate a client’s wishes to harmonize their values, often shaped by religion, and their sexuality.

Under the congruence approach, a religious person who considers homosexuality sinful could attempt to square their beliefs and sexuality by trying to remain celibate. A bisexual client who perceives a similar conflict could try to focus on heterosexual relationships.

But under the congruence model, it’s up to the client - not the therapist - to decide how to view his or her sexual orientation. “If they say 'I think being gay is OK and it’s what I want to pursue,' we’ll work with them to do that, too,” said Throckmorton.

Evangelical re-examination of conversion therapy is part of a larger conversation under way among conservative Christians on how to respond to homosexuality at a time when more gay people are coming out, when there's a new awareness of the bullying that many young gay people face and when the gay rights movement is making some big strides, including, in some states, legalized gay marriage.

“We’re silly to think that there are not gays coming to church, part of our congregations,” said Marcus Yoars, the editor of Charisma, a popular Christian magazine. “It’s the elephant in the room. Its ridiculous that we can’t address it in a manner of love first, which doesn’t mean watering down biblical teaching.”

For the first time in years, Charisma put the issue of homosexuality on the cover of its magazine for the July issue, in a package that includes a story of a woman who says she was “rescued from lesbianism.”

But Yoars said that conversion therapy should be seen as only a small part of the Christian response to homosexuality.

“We have to realize that reparative therapy is a fraction of what’s out there, especially in Christian counseling,” he said. “When it’s reduced to sound bites, it gives (the therapy) a bad rap and falls into the stereotype of all Christians feeling that this kind of therapy is what all Christian counselors should use.”

Another factor behind the new evangelical conversation around homosexuality and conversion therapy is a generational shift on attitudes toward the issues. Recent polls show that young evangelicals are much more supportive of rights for gay partners than their parents are, even as they mirror their parents' opposition to abortion.

"Retaining young people is crucial, and a more accepting generation will not tolerate business as usual when it comes to the debate over homosexuality," wrote Jonathan Merritt, a young evangelical leader, in a recent opinion piece. "Pastors need not compromise their convictions, but they can expect congregants to call for a more accepting, forgiving message – a more Christian message.

"If Christian leaders can’t make that transition – and quickly – instead of an awakening," Merritt wrote in the Christian Science Monitor, "evangelicals may be facing an exodus."

–CNN’s Eric Marrapodi contributed to this report.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Homosexuality • Michele Bachmann • Politics • Uncategorized

« Previous entry
soundoff (2,293 Responses)
  1. Excuses

    When two men or women conceive a baby NATURALLY together (no surrogates) then you might have a point...

    July 18, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
    • robert frost

      When two heteros do not reproduce, should their marriage be annulled? Next!

      July 18, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
    • DontVoteForHer

      They did conceve a child Nancy Pilocy.

      July 18, 2011 at 6:44 pm |
    • Liutgard

      So it's all about reproduction? What about infertile couples? Or a woman past menopause? Horrors- Grandma and Grandpa might actually be interested in nooky!

      July 18, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
    • whybs

      Excuses, when you stop beating off, then you might have a point...

      July 18, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
    • Mark in Seattle

      When the earth's resources aren't being choked by approaching 7 billion people, you might have a point about the need for offspring.

      July 18, 2011 at 7:03 pm |
  2. John

    Religion........ ANY religion is about a core belief system. Every single religion on the planet says they are the one true religion. It's all crap. religion was a creation of mankind. Man has created God in his own image......... not the other way around. The most effective way to control a large group of people is through fear. Religion...... in forced mode, is the single most greatest terrorist tool on the planet. Mankind still has not yet learned to believe in himself. Thus the need for something divine. Let the bible thumpers and fantics all start posting replies to this. I don't care. I'll never read them anyway. HEHEHEHEHEHE

    July 18, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
    • buck

      While I agree with you on most of what you say, I dont bash peoples religion If it gives them solace or peace of mind or whatever then its right for them, However I do bash Using religion to pass legislation.

      July 18, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
    • Roger

      @ Buck. If I have a fantasy that causes harm to others but gives me comfort, should that still be ok? Because in effect that is what religion does. If people could really just practice their religion and not end up using it as an excuse to hate and kill, it would be nothing more than a nice fantasy.

      But religion kills people every day. Therefore it is harmful, regardless of the comfort it brings some people.

      July 18, 2011 at 6:55 pm |
    • Mel

      Silly cliches! Try an original argument next time.

      July 18, 2011 at 6:58 pm |
    • mathblitz

      It's not worth the trouble trying to convert people if they are steadfast in their beliefs, as long as they don't affect others adversely because of said beliefs than they should be allowed to believe in whatever they want. As an atheist, I respect religious people, but I admit I do feel contempt for those who see fit to judge others based on their beliefs.

      July 18, 2011 at 7:01 pm |
    • Joleen

      I agree that religion is in all cases a form of terrorism. First, it is a group of EXCLUSION. Second, if you are EXCLUDED you will be punished now or hereafter. Third, if the group leaders tell you to do something, you must do it or be EXCLUDED and punished.

      I also believe that all humans are drawn to spirituality, a connection to something greater than ourselves. When that basic draw is manipulated by religion, that is a terrorist act.

      July 18, 2011 at 7:31 pm |
    • helloeyes

      I'm not religious by I don't judg people who are religious. Some people need it, others want it in their lives because they like that dynamic. I channel all my love into my family because, I believe, we're only here once.

      July 18, 2011 at 7:41 pm |
  3. frank

    I like to watch the guys wrassle in the UFC, then I hump my girlfriend...OMG does this mean I am the gay?

    July 18, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
    • buck

      no just an a**hole

      July 18, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
    • adam

      .....either that, or your girlfriend is REALLY butch.

      July 18, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
    • robert frost

      When hetero men get off watching gay girls making out, does that make them gay?

      July 18, 2011 at 6:49 pm |
    • frank

      @robert frost
      If so, then I'm gayer than Richard Simmons taking a bubble bath with Little Richard.

      July 18, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
    • Joleen

      You can be gay if you want. I don't care about it.

      July 18, 2011 at 7:33 pm |
  4. Bruce H

    People are individuals, very different one from another.
    There is no "ideal" or "model" or "typical" straight person and neither a gay one.
    There is a bell-shaped curve where a majority of those with particular characteristics gather in the middle of that distribution curve. The outliers are interesting sports, perhaps that is where the "former gay" ones lie – they were never in the middle of the distribution and were not "typical" of the majority under the curve.

    In a similar way, the other extreme are those who are flamboyantly gay, equally small in numbers but very visible.

    July 18, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
    • Joleen

      It is the flamboyant ones that freak out the born-agains! They are also the ones I find most entertaining to watch. Street theater.

      July 18, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
  5. Norton

    The only difference between the religious fanatics in Iran and the USA is the name of their respective cult. The fact that the bible was written by a bunch of misogynists to control the masses back in a time when ignorance was the norm but is still believed in 2011 would be comical if it wasn't so scary.

    July 18, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
    • BO

      "The fact that we are here today to debate raising America's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. government can't pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our government's reckless fiscal policies. Increasing America's debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that 'the buck stops here.' Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better."
      - Senator Barack Obama in 2006

      July 18, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
    • JT

      Why aren't you more tolerant of other people's beliefs?

      July 18, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  6. person

    Im sick of "Gay" and im also sick of "Christian"

    These multi-dimensional fronts for politics, provide nothing beneficial to this country.
    They are soo often reinvented for whatever use a politician sees most beneficial to their side.

    Religion is not for everyone, and especially should not be handled by the government.

    July 18, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  7. WillyMo

    First of all, I'm a Christian of 25 years. But seriously, the most beneficial act God could bless this world with would be destroying every church. Every church/pastor claims to have THE ANSWER. It's ridiculous. Nobody knows anything, except what is loosely outlined in the Bible and just because you've heard the same preachers your entire life talk about their same opinions your entire life, how do you have ANY perspective whatsoever? perspective requires that you listen to everyone, but many seek the opposite by listening to one person or one church their entire lives then they don't understand how someone is not like them?! Give me a break! The longer I stay a Christian, the harder it is to go to church and not cringe at some of the judgemental things preachers/pastors say. To get back on topic, sin = sin and that's all you need to know. So instead of spending all your waking hours desparately fighting gay marriage, perhaps you should spend that time examining your own life! Please try to gain some perspective in this world, as you only have 1 life. To life your 1 life in ignorance is a WASTE, and I truly believe God would agree.

    July 18, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
    • Joleen

      Thanks. You are breath of air in a stinky room. rebuker quotes Scripture against gays... but neglects the Ten Commandments which he breaks every day of his life. Gay didn't make the top ten, rebuker. Interesting, so many Christians commit adultery, in the top ten, but neither fornication nor gays made the top ten. So, breaking a vow is much worse in the Bible than a couple nancy boys.

      July 18, 2011 at 7:40 pm |
    • News Flash

      So the question is : "why doesn't he just go ahead and DO "the most beneficial act", and since he hasn't in thousands of years, the probability is that you're never gonna see it. So, what does that tell you ?

      July 18, 2011 at 8:06 pm |
  8. Anita Mann

    I don't have Gaydar but everything about Marcus Bachmann sets off my alarms. I so very much weren't the Bachmanns weren't from my state.

    July 18, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
  9. Winston G.

    It's wrong, it's just wrong !

    July 18, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
    • Joe

      Wiston your wrong

      July 18, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  10. Eve

    Adam, you dumped me on this blog for steve?

    July 18, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
    • serpent

      Yes , I wanted him create a lifestyle that was alternative to what my Master created.

      July 18, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
    • Observer

      There is no Christian who can claim that Steve didn't exist. The Bible never says who started the civilzation of Nod where Cain went and married. Maybe Steve started it. You can't prove it didn't happen. Don't pick on Steve.

      July 18, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
    • News Flash

      @Observer
      Adan and Eve had belly buttons. So they obviously had a mom and a dad. No ?

      July 18, 2011 at 8:08 pm |
  11. nina

    christians need to watch Mr. Rodgers re-runs because he loved everyone just as they were

    July 18, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
  12. Oldie in TampaBay

    and they say this is 2011?!? With thinking like this it takes us back more than a thousand years!

    July 18, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
    • Bob

      Why their damm near neaderthals...

      July 18, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
    • MrHanson

      Racist

      July 18, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
    • Grammar and Spelling Cop

      they're

      July 18, 2011 at 8:09 pm |
  13. crucified

    @stejo I know if you are gay you do not have a relationship with Christ, for you have not fully surrendered your life to him. maybe one day you will before it is too late.

    July 18, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
    • Patrick

      Oh please, I went through that whole thing for years, sincerely desperately abandoning my life to Christ. Did I get the slightest attraction to the opposite $ex for all my praying and work? No. I instead heard a voice that told me "Would you want someone like you (gay) dating your sister? No? Then you shouldn't be dating her. She's someone's sister...and someone's daughter."

      July 18, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
    • Patrick

      And God saved me from suicide and completely removed the desire to drink from me, an alcoholic BEFORE even more attempts at changing. Now why would he remove one desire but not the other? And why in the world would he not AT LEAST give me some attraction to some female somewhere?????

      Answer: God's not that cruel. He loves me. And he loves me the way I am and if I make a conscious choice to turn my will and my life over to Him each day, he won't let me down and he WILL take away whatever desires stand in the way of doing His Will.

      July 18, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
    • Sybaris

      Patrick, people in other religions put their faith in elephants, foxes, and mermaids and get the same results.

      July 18, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
    • stejo

      there's what you believe you know and what you know. And you know nothing about me. What sins do you have that you haven't surrendered? Are you telling me you are without sin? If so, go ahead and cast your stones.

      July 18, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
    • stejo

      btw, cruc, my hatred for self-righteous bigots like yourself is probably more of a reason for my marshmallow-roasting future than the gay part. You will answer to God for the people you turn off with your judgmental, stupid, holier-than-thou vileness. If you lived during Jesus' time, you would've made a GREAT Pharisee.

      July 18, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
    • Joe

      My relationship with Jesus is stronger then obviously yours will ever be with your maker.

      July 18, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
    • Fuyuko

      sorry, god loves gays as he made them. you cannot judge anyone Else's relationship with Christ.

      July 18, 2011 at 7:16 pm |
  14. Jesus of Nazareth

    Aberrant behavior such as described in this article is a choice and can and should be corrected. You aren't born that way it was your parents fault.

    With this in mind I hope Evangelicals can realize this and start the road towards enlightenment. Stop believing in fairy tales taught to them as children. Once they do this I think they will easily see how ignorant their 'pray away the gay' approach is.

    But take it one day at a time. You can do it, we believe in you. You're not a lost cause.

    July 18, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
    • Patrick

      Amen.

      July 18, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
    • MrHanson

      You meen fairy tails with with evolution tinker bell and her random mutation wand?

      July 18, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
    • Nick

      Preach Jesus, Preach!

      July 18, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
    • Sybaris

      So by your logic you were born an atheist and it's your parents fault for teaching you about religion.

      July 18, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
    • Nick

      Sybarus, you just said a true, logical statement as if it was crazy....CLEARLY we were all born atheists seeing as how all atheism is is a LACK of belief in a god figure, and that is EXACTLY how we all come into this world. Religion is CLEARLY taught, everyone knows that. Are you seriously trying to imply that we are born with innate religion, when everyone knows we're born without even the ability to recognize ourselves in mirrors or recognize the difference between an object and a picture of that object? You really think we were born knowing about god? What an abject fool you must be.

      July 18, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
    • Nick

      Sybaris* MY BAD

      July 18, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  15. look

    venom is spewing!!!

    July 18, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  16. Chrisg

    RUsurpriesed I just spoke to God and he said you are full of crap. God want you to STFU and stop using his name to try to prove your crap.

    July 18, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
    • DontVoteForHer

      Well said. What else did HE tell you? Most folks on this blog think there is no GOD. are you one of them?

      July 18, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
    • Joleen

      SHE really talked to you?

      July 18, 2011 at 7:50 pm |
  17. jjbay

    Kyle,

    Liberals always distort this passage and divorce it from the rest of Scripture to pervert God's Word and promote their agenda. Because tells us to judge in John 14:24. "Judge righteous judgment." In Mat 7, Jesus is talking about eternal or hypocritial judgment.

    July 18, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
    • Patrick

      He also said:

      Exodus 21:20 “If a man beats his male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies as a direct result, he must be punished, 21 but he is not to be punished if the slave gets up after a day or two, since the slave is his property.

      So what???

      July 18, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
    • Kyle

      He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me?

      I don't see how this gives you the right to judge another for his or her sins. All sin is equal the eyes of God, and all men sin, therefor all who judge another for their sins are being hypocrites.

      July 18, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
    • Observer

      jjbay,

      Just pick and choose whatever you find in the Bible that agrees with you and IGNOR the rest. Be a typical believer.

      July 18, 2011 at 6:02 pm |
    • CN

      why no, jjbay? like other conservatives on here, you seem to have forgotten the part where jesus commanded you to give away all your possessions to the poor and to take no thought for the morrow. if you had obeyed, how is it that you have a computer? you seem to be considering much more than the lilies of the field, who i'm very sure don't care who sleeps with who. why do you spin when they do not?

      July 18, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
    • Sybaris

      jjbay, Jesus was talking about nothing because he didn't write that, somebody named John didn't write it either. Whoever wrote it did so some 70 years after the alleged Jesus was alive and they weren't even an eyewitness. That's like 70 years from now me telling someone what you wrote on CNN. Do you really think I'll remember it word for word?

      July 18, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
    • jdog

      you know if you re-arrange the letters in god it spells DOG!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

      July 18, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
    • Ozymandias71

      Actually, it's the fundie crowd constantly twisting scripture to fit their ideology.

      July 18, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
    • jdog

      you know if you re-arrange the letters in god it spells DOG!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! and live=evil and satan=santa!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

      July 18, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
    • Liutgard

      Funny, Jesus said exactly ~0~ about gays. He was pretty forceful about divorce though. And a whole host of other things. I would think that focusing one's sight on what he *did* say would be a wise course of action.

      July 18, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
  18. Nadine

    I get very confused when fundamentalists start talking this way. There's still a logical problem, isn't there, though? If you think gays are sinful, but you don't think they *necessarily* have much control over it, where's the sin coming from? Yes, yes, we're all born in sin and all that - but that affects all of us, not just gays. It requires gays to be celibate, which is not required of other so-called Christians. I think gay Americans should explore other congregations which will hew closer to the real Christian message, and not this rather perverted and one-dimensional fundamentalist viewpoint.

    July 18, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
    • Patrick

      Even more to the point, both Jesus and Paul claimed that it was very rare for a hetero$exual man to be able to remain celibate, though they both said it was preferred, saying though, that it is better to marry than to burn. Yet these hypocrites think somehow gays are ALL somehow expected to live a life of celibacy because evidently they're better equipped for that than heteros. All I know, is I was every bit as crazy about d1ck as these straight guys I know were about p*ssy. This is common sense.

      July 18, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
    • Bob

      fundamentalists ?

      July 18, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
    • Fuyuko

      I don't believe we are born in sin. I think thats a bit negative. I think the church latches on to naming things sin, in an effort to contol behavior. It wasn't long ago that having uncovered hair, and showing your ankles was sinful.

      July 18, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
    • Liutgard

      Patrick, Jesus said not a single word about gays. You appear to need to reacquaint yourself with his teachings.

      July 18, 2011 at 6:55 pm |
  19. crucified

    @ kyle... silly no one is judging.. it is what the bible says therefore it is Christ who has judged.. and scripture specifically says you are suppose to correct those that claim to be Christian and are sinning. as far as those that are not Christian the Law judges them..

    July 18, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
    • Nadine

      To me this is an example of the rather warped fundamentalist viewpoint. Jesus is about acceptance, not judgment. It's as though you are cherry-picking his words, not getting to the real point of his mission.

      July 18, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
    • crucified

      @nadine and what would that be? that Christ came to die for our sins, that they could not enslave us any longer, therefore we have the ability to change..and if we love God enough we will make that choice. yeah that is the good news.. I know it.. do you?

      July 18, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
    • Nick

      Clearly your brain has been crucified on the cross of religious groupthink. Such stupid, stupid, fairy-tale oriented christians.

      July 18, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
    • Bruno

      Okay, crucified, you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and "get saved".

      Your son becomes a Mormon. Not because he willfully, volitionally turns his back on Christ Jesus (Mormons claim to worship Jesus Christ), but, rather, because, at worst, he is deceived or confused. A simple cognitive error.

      You will be in paradise, knowing someone you love (or loved) more than anything on earth is in eternal torment for simply being wrong. How good will the news be for you then?

      I have heard the fundamentalist line on this is that you will be so ecstatic in heaven, you will completely forget and abandon those once most dear to you.

      Ah, but this is agape!

      Frankly, this sounds like a clunky doctrine cudgeled together hastily to answer challenges most fundamentalists have never even had to consider until recently.

      July 18, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  20. DontVoteForHer

    May I quote from the bible of the athest.

    Gospel of MY self idulgence, chapter 1, verse 1:

    "May I burn in Hell, if those Christians are right. Because, I did it MY way, because I am MY own god "little g". "

    verse 2:

    Follow me, so we can enjoy the view together.

    Author: your friend and non savour SATAN

    I don't love any of you, but can't wait to have you as my guest for all eternity. Be sure to pack all your personal belongings, and sun screen. There is no ice here. No cold water. And, no refunds. You are mine forever. While you were alive, you had a choice. Afterwards, no choice. Just eternal punishment and pain. Glad you rejected Jesus. HE was getting all the GLORY i eas suppose to have. It's lonely here in Hell, so come quickly. Your non friend satan.

    July 18, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
    • LThomson

      Don't you think the fact you have to make up a fictional response on "Satan's" behalf is indicative of the fact that he's a fictional character? Otherwise, he/she/it would do the quoting, right?

      July 18, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
    • Chrisg

      You really, really need to take your meds or get some help FAST.

      July 18, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
    • Patrick

      Go read that to a professional and ask for help.

      July 18, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
    • Nadine

      What is Christian about this folderol? You sound more like some sort of 1910 Russian anarchist, with your vitriolic condemnation and vengefulness.

      July 18, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @DontVoteForHer

      Oh, my deluded believer! There is no devil. No demons of any sort. Nothing under your beds. If there were, I would tell you.

      Satan was invented by men, because they felt "funny" worshipping a god that had just devastated a village of good people via a flood. They didn't want their god to be the one who did evil. So, Beelzebub was born.

      Consider: You believe god is all knowing. Yes?

      You believe god is all powerful. Yes?

      You believe everything written in the bible is true. Yes?

      You believe Satan is at least as intelligent as your average human. Yes?

      You believe Satan can read? Yes?

      Do you think Satan ever read the part, in the King James, where he loses the battle against god? What would be the point in continuing the battle, if the goal (victory?) ABSOLUTELY was not obtainable? I think this would be disheartening to any army. Even a band of fallen angels.

      Who, more than a fallen angel, would believe/know god was omniscient? Not to mention omnipotent. That would have been a stumbling block to any coup attempt. Right?

      So, rebellion would have been dumb of Satan and his band of angels. God would have said, "You will lose and you will lose your health insurance." End of rebellion, I think.

      These stories are fiction. Do you see that? What ent ity would rebel against an all powerful, all knowing god? You couldn't even sneak up on Him. Sheesh! Use your brain, just a little.

      What's funny, is that Christians bestow upon their god, the attributes of being omnibenevolent, omnipotent, and omniscient.
      Never mind that it is impossible for a god to be all those things at the same time.
      But, Christians never stop to think how these attributes affect their fairy tales. They never consider the ramifications resulting from these superlative qualities that they give to their god.

      Some have told me, that Satan knows he will be defeated. His goal is to take as many humans to hell with him as possible.
      But, Christians also say, their god is all knowing. If god can see the future, if the future can be known, He would know exactly how many souls will be lost and how many saved. He would know this, from the beginning.

      If god can know the future, Satan would be locked into his part. Like Judas and Peter, he would have no choice.

      If the predictions of the bible concerning Satan and the end times are true, then all the events and actions leading up to the fulfillment of these predictions, are predetermined. Predictions, cannot depend on chance.

      “For me, it is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.”
      – Carl Sagan

      Ha, Ha, Ha! I laugh at you and your silly beliefs!

      Cheers!

      July 18, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
    • JnAbq

      You're statement is a perfect example of why support of religion equals support of mental illness. btw, what's an athest?

      July 18, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
    • DontVoteForHer

      You know what is really sick, you idiots actually replied. Having a religion blog on CNN is like having a GAY blog on FOX. Every comment you made just shows how stupid all of you are. There is nothing new in your comments. I was pointing that out, in a way you only could understand. Satan is your god. Enjoy!

      July 18, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
    • Nick

      HAHAHAHA go pop some pills you delusional christian. You evangelicals don't even have the most basic forms of logical thinking, because if you did, you would realize that according to YOUR OWN beliefs, approximately 99.8% (proven in studies of your warped thinking) of all humanity would be going to hell. So no, there is no lake of fire, you fool. And if there is, at least I'll be there with the 99.8% most sane people to ever have lived, and you deranged .2% can go pray the gay away for all of eternity with your other pompous, white, evangelical friends and that petty daddy figure, god.

      July 18, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
    • Fuyuko

      God is good, not evil. There is no devil. Just a human creation to scare people into believing. I don't believe a good god would punish anyone for eternity, that is just plain silly.

      July 18, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.